New Jersey Governor Chris Christie won a resounding re-election victory last night. His victory sets the stage for a seemingly inevitable run for the presidency in 2016.
But as the exit polls from last night’s election demonstrate, while Christie’s public image and celebrity won him votes his political positions did not. Christie opposed the ballot measure to amend the New Jersey Constitution to increase the minimum wage and index it to inflation – which easily passed. And exit polls showed him losing in a head to head battle with Hillary Clinton.
Not to mention the publication of a book, Double Down, which contains leaked research on Christie conducted by the Romney for President campaign in 2012.
According to the authors, Romney and his team were shaken by what they discovered about Christie during “Project Goldfish,” as the hush-hush veep search process was known. His “disturbing” research file is littered with “garish controversies,” the authors write: a Justice Department investigation into his free-spending ways as U.S. attorney, his habit of steering government contracts to friends and political allies, a defamation lawsuit that emerged during a 1994 run for local office, a politically problematic lobbying career that included work on behalf of a financial firm that employed Bernie Madoff. And that’s not to mention the Romney team’s anxiety about the governor’s girth.
And that largely excludes some of the scandals Christie has been involved in while in office which include patronage at public authorities, problematic uses of state vehicles, and a horrifying relationship with prison privatizers (stay tuned).
As the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary gets underway it seems Chris Christie’s path to the nomination could get a little bumpy.